There’s A Legendary Poem Called ‘The Old Bachelor’s Respite’ And You Must Never, Ever Read It Aloud

via Flickr -
via Flickr -Judit Klein

I’m looking for info about a poem called “The Old Bachelor’s Respite.”

I’m a journalism major and for my term project I decided to cover a topic on a poem that has recently been circling around paranormal communities that supposedly has some strange properties to it.

The poem is called The Old Bachelor’s Respite. The original author of the piece is completely unknown, and many variations of the poem exist so it’s not exactly easy tracing its origins. While all these versions are different, the overall themes in the poems are the same. The story of why the original author wrote the poem is also the same.

It’s said that the Respite poem was written in the late 90’s about an elderly, hedonistic millionaire who enjoyed having different sexual partners every night of the week – he is the titular “Old Bachelor”. The Old Bachelor didn’t just enjoy the sex, however; the entire process of putting together a romantic night was something he received great pleasure from. But having a different woman every night for years and years grew tiring for him. So for a while he switched to men just to experiment. Then he got into more kinky things: bondage, BDSM, things like that. But all the fun of this would wear off very quickly. So, the Old Bachelor began delving into the perverse.

According to the story, the Old Bachelor began cannibalizing his dates, men and women alike, just for the thrill. Some say he would still wine and dine them, but ended the dates with murder. He’d then have their bodies for dinner on the date the night after, and continue on with that throughout the week. Disgusting as it is, it’s rumored his favorite thing to eat was a person’s throat.

The Old Bachelor was eventually found out and arrested. The story claims that he was killed by one of his victim’s brothers who was in the same prison. Not long after, the Respite seemed to arise as if from nowhere.

The poem, in its most frequent form, is as follows (DO NOT read it out loud if you’re superstitious):

Light of a candle and swallowing sin,

I’ve opened my door so that you can come in.

I offer you food over here by the fire

In hopes that you cater my deepest desire.

Hang up your hat, and please stay the night,

I promise I will not deny you a bite.

If at all I’ve offended and that’s all she wrote,

Please do me the honor of biting my throat.

Those who have researched the poem have come to believe that there is something inherently wrong with it and that speaking it out loud can lead to some form of consequences. I interviewed a moderator of a popular paranormal community messageboard about reciting the poem, and he had this to say:

“Do not do it. Absolutely do not say it out loud. A lot of the stories about the O.B. leave out the fact that reciting his poem can have some serious repercussions.”

When I inquired, he went on:

“Something bites you. I don’t know what it is, a ghost, a demon, whatever, but when you say the poem out loud, eventually you will get bitten. It can take hours or days for it to happen, and it hurts like a bitch. I’ve said it out loud three times and each time I’ve been bitten. I still have the scars. Third time was so bad I had to visit the ER, fucker got me right on my upper arm. That was enough to make me stop.”  

There are others who claim to have said the poem out loud and receiving a bite out of nowhere as a result. Some claim to have spoken only a few lines of it and stopping due to an uneasy feeling they had gotten. These folks did not get bitten apparently, but instead would see a figure out of the corners of their eyes – a figure of an old man.

Many of those who have allegedly been bitten also reported having very similar dreams of walking into a large, expensive-looking home and being greeted at the door by an elderly man grinning with impossibly-large teeth.

The most fascinating thing I’ve come across in regards to The Old Bachelor’s Respite is a group of people who call themselves “Wingmen”. The Wingmen are men and women of all ages who claim to not just say the poem, but complete an entire ritual that summons the Old Bachelor along with their recital. While most of them are very secretive, contacting one another through a very private and protected forum, I was able to convince one – who asked to remain nameless – what the ritual is and what the Wingmen are all about. Here is what he wrote to me:


“Hi there. I’ve been interacting with the Bachelor for about fifteen years and I’m more than happy to help you better understand who we are and what we do. Obviously if you’re contacting us, you are probably already aware of the TRUE NATURE of the poem. While many people have said it out loud and have gotten marked by our lovely Bachelor, they are unaware that there is much more that can be done should they prove themselves a person of interest to Him.

We call our little ritual ‘Date Night’, and any person can do it. Here’s what has to be done AT MINIMUM in order to bring the beautiful Bachelor into your life:

You must be home.

You may only start when the sun has set.

A table for two must be set up somewhere in the house. You must be sitting at this table upon your recital.

You must have two dishes of any type of food on the table.

You must open the front door of your home and keep it open for the remainder of the night.

Every light in the house must be off. You will sit at the table in complete darkness.

Recite the poem whenever you are ready for your Date.

You’ll notice how the poem in itself seems like an invitation. That’s because it is. When people invite Him but haven’t opened the door or set Him a table, He takes a bite for his trouble. But, should you put Him together a dinner with class, and dress to impress, He’ll reward you.

If you waste His time with something that you put no thought into, try and recall the last line of the poem you’ve recited. Because you’ve invited Him to more than just dinner ‘if at all you’ve offended.’

So let’s go through Date Night. You set up a nice dinner, turn out all the lights, open the front door, and sit down at the table. You must recite the poem loudly and clearly, close to a yell. Within a half hour, you will hear the front door shut. This means He has arrived. Begin eating from your dish as soon as you hear that door shut. You don’t have to force anything down, just nibble here and there. Say nothing. You will feel Him sit down at the table with you. Say nothing. Just eat.

If you haven’t offended, within an hour, the door will open and shut once more. The very second it shuts, Date Night is over. Turn on your lights and you’ll notice the food from the plate opposite from yours on the table will be empty.

Wingmen like myself don’t know how exactly it happens, but the next morning you will feel absolutely incredible and will stay in that state of mind for around thirty days. Pure ecstasy for an entire month in which you’re confident, healthy, active, and seem to attract nothing but success in everything that you do. I’ll tell you now, it is a little addictive (why else would we have a community dedicated to risking everything to feel it?). This is the Bachelor’s gift to you.

I am warning you now, though, to not offend even a little during your Date Night should you choose to do one. I’ve known many Wingmen who had gotten lazy and offended Him by putting together a lackluster dinner, or turning on their cell phones during the Date (I know, right?!). Obviously, they’re not around for another chance.

Also, if that front door doesn’t shut within thirty minutes (you should always be counting in your head), you’ve already fucked it up. Run out of the house, go anywhere else, and He might let you go. He needs to feed one way or another, so pray He chooses whatever crap you left Him on the table.

But just so you know, if you offend Him, you offend us. We tend to get a bit protective that way. You don’t want to offend us.

I wish you the best of luck. Have a nice Date!”


I myself am too frightened to do anything described above, and the terse warning the Wingman had given me about offending his group kind of unnerves me.

So I am here, now, looking for someone who has performed this Date Night ritual. While I should really try it myself first-hand, I’m not going to risk anything if I can get info from someone else.

Has anyone recited The Old Bachelor’s Respite? Will anyone? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

via Imgur and Laughing Jack
via Imgur and Laughing Jack

More From Thought Catalog